Monday, December 29, 2014

Kiina's Kitchen

 Guess what's cooking at Kiina's Kitchen? :P 

Splurge photo shoot, couldn't pass away the chance to use Asian snacks as temporary artisan breads for Bionicle.

Kiina's Kitchen, catchy name I think, now I'm thinking of a Bionicle cooking show with Kiina as the cook and host. >_< 
Heck, I might just make mini Kiina Kitchen comics where she has guest cooks and makes yummy, yet odd food.
 The images left and right above are the basic scenes without the funny title.
 displaying the breads in a basket was a nice touch, but I also decided to show them side by side on the table like they had just been baked.
 I mean, how fun is it to use Asian snacks as bread for small figurines, and then eat them after the photo shoot is done. :) I will note the snacks stick to you while you're working, and whatever you do, make sure to keep them dry; they stick really bad if they're evenly slightly moist.

Above and below close ups just show how yummy the snacks are. I figured the sesame one is like a seed covered flat bread that puffs when baked, and the big crackled one could be like a sweet sour dough with spices, then there's the odd glazed one that's oval and looks like a very wet bread, caramelized with a type of honey glaze on its outer crust.

I even did a poster to display my favorite pics and tell what's being cooked at Kiina's Kitchen today. :D Posters make sharing so much easier. ^.~

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Mini MOC Comics- TOF editions

 I've been planning it forever, and now that I have them, I love them. Mini MOC comics; that's right, comics for your MOCs. This Travels of Frona set came out a tad bigger than expected, but they still work.

As you know, Travels of Frona is an actual fan comic I assembled, and now my characters can have the comic on their book shelves. 

You can now read the comics in PDF format too. Travels of Frona book 1 and Travels of Frona book 2

Of course who else would be holding these books besides Frona herself. Seems like a fun poster for a book convention. :P
 For those who would like to try it, here are the mini comic print outs. Now your MOCs can have a few books made by me. :)

I hope to try this again for different comics at some point, but first things first, check out the video flip through below where I also show how I made these little graphic novels.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Smug Bug Photos

 I had fun making a line of Gorast pictures for LoL chapter 9 "Smug Bug". 
My goal was to try and get a menacing feel to match the scene of Gorast watching from the trees. I assembled the panel to display the different shots, each containing a different feel.

 The first image (above left) is the one which will be the main image for LoL chapter 9 seeing it has the menacing look I'm going for. Second one makes me feel like she's squinting at something.
Third (right) is one of my favorites in the collection, just seems so natural and life like.
And the fourth image (left) is the final image which just makes me laugh because she seems to be relaxing or falling, and the angle of her head makes her seem so much less creepy in that one.

There were some tricks involved in making the scenes look right. I took the photos in one of our house plants after placing a black foam board behind it to cover up the wall and make editing easier. Later in PSE I removed the black from the background and replaced it with a jungle image to fill in the gaps and serve as an illusion of forest. Levels and contrast greatly helped in getting the feel I wanted, though in some ways I imagined the scene to be a tad darker.
Here's an extra joke panel which is like a blooper if LoL were a tv show. 
When  I showed my sister the photo panel she said the way I set it up made her think of this comical strand of dialogue based of the figurines body language. 
This inspired me to take her exact words to what she said she heard while looking at the pictures, and apply them to make a comic strip.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Venimbus Glamor Shots

 Okay, here's a nice set of images that are like a Life of Lewa specialty. 
This is Venimbus, one of the main figures in LoL, all pretty in her royal jungle garb with traditional feather helmet tuft, leaf jewelry, and scythe adorned with hallucinogenic string pollen.

Okay, so one day I do plan on making a regular MOC panel to show Venimbus's basic form and figure, but glamor shots never hurt, and I just couldn't pass up the opportunity to use a freshly snipped leaf from our household taro plant as a backdrop and inspiration to these photos.

I love the whole jungle theme, and taro is obviously tropical, that's a given. They're really big too, so getting a nice shot with a small figurine is fairly simple.
I can see it now, these pictures being in a small scrapbook or journal which Lewa keeps and looks at often, completely infatuated by the glamorous Venimbus. :P

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

MOC Space Station Prop- video overview

Here's my newest video reviewing the MOC Space Station Prop. I include extra details that weren't shown in the main post and hope you have fun watching.

WARNING: I had to record hand cam style, if you have problems with motion sickness, sit back from the screen. I suffered from motion sickness by sitting too close to the screen while watching my video clips, hence resulting in me almost barfing. O_O Just FYI.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Legendarykiller117 Hi banner

No, it's not official, I decided to do this YT banner more as a thank you note. Legendarykiller117 Hi during the craze of my Bionicle YT banner making really wanted one, and I closed the banner making craze beforehand. He still asked multiple times, and then I decided, oh why not. He left some pretty nice comments of encouragement on my work and now it's Christmas time (the season anyway) so I went ahead and made this YT banner for his channel.

The picture is from his profile images on G+ and I chose color schemes and brush themes that seemed to match this character. Yeah I just winged things, but it seems pretty cool I think.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

MOC Space Station Prop

 Okay, it's taken me time, but here it is. An MOC prop that serves as a space station, but can also be a backdrop for hospital or lab scenes. 

The panel above shows the basic set up of my two sided prop, one side has padded texture, the other has mostly smooth paper, and the cupboards plus wire overhang addition can be moved and placed anywhere. The door really opens and closes, and the cupboards can have shelves and objects added to them.
 The Space Station Visitors is the full collection of scenes to show how figurines fit in to the prop. There are many options. The door was made to fit Bionicle figurines specifically, but with creative angles, GI Joe and other figurines/dolls can fit. I made this set solely for photography and story telling (hope to share a video of the set and its options soon).

 Above and below, main scenes of the space station side one and two. Side one above, side two below.

Process: It's incredible what the station is made of. all of it is based off of the center piece (a chocolate heart container from a Hershy's peanut butter heart candy). This center piece inspired an entire prop. The rest was made from part of a heavy duty cardboard box, which I then painted with white gesso, cut holes for my light spots and heart centerpiece, reinforced all rough edges with duck tape, glued on plastic packaging strips for LED light covers in the wall, taped and glued on scrapbook paper and covered the parts of the set with duck tape, or packaging materials, used plastic packaging for windows on the door and cupboards, wire overhang is made of twist ties and plastic string from packing. The cupboards are made from DVD mailing boxes covered with duck tape and are closed with brads and framing hooks, hung with wire on hooks made from paper clips.

Material: Heavy duty cardboard box, bubble wrap mailing package, plastic package twine and strips, inner cushioning from chocolate boxes, chocolate heart container, plastic packaging, scrapbook paper, white and silver duck tape, paperclips, wire, brads, DVD mailing boxes, framing mounts, and zip ties.

 Main scene side one above. Tahu and Galu chat, and Hahli just arrives.
Main scene side two below. The explorer sneaks through the ship and cautiously observes a set of cupboards, the alien creeper peeking at him through the door window.

A final special behind the scenes image is the creeper looking through the door, but with dark effects, so you feel like you're hiding in a dark room and this thing is looking for you.

The only battle scene so far is of the explorer having a stare down with the alien peeker.

Friday, November 7, 2014

LoL-Quoting Poetry

Official image for Life of Lewa chapter 8 "A Jump For Love". Base scene above is Lewa trying to quote Junti poetry to Venimbus at the local jungle market. Venimbus is face palming so hard right now. Can you guess what happens next in Lewa's day? ;P
Take two, digital dirt is a tad different. I went with take one because the angle was nicer, showed Venimbus's expression better. Angle two shows Lewa's goofiness more, but I need both characters to look their best.
One of the original shots. Amazing what you can do with some simple tweaks. All of this was done with black foam boards, fake plants, and two figurines. Later level adjustments and background additions brought life to the scene.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Onah's Boredom Nap

In the MN-CN-I RP I've noticed the fun balance of island mixed in with hints of Japanese inspiration. In the one episode, BM FTW had Ion quote playfully for Mildred to be a sensei of lighting fires with gas (too much to explain). But after that one bit, it made me instantly see Ion's slight Asian like mentality, which led to the thought of  Ion and Onah in a Japanese sparring room. And I can see it, during lessons, Ion listens to the teacher, Onah falls asleep against his shoulder, bored out of her mind. The image above is what I saw in my head during the idea.

Everything was done quick and sketchily. I've been trying to work faster in hopes of getting speed and quality combined, so I can make comics.

I know Ion could look better, more accurate to that of BM FTW's MOC, but I didn't spend too much time on making it perfect, figured it wouldn't matter much as long as you can tell who it is

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Jungle-water suit-concept

Old concept work done back in 2009 or so. I designed a jungle theme for Pearllight's many element modes her suit can switch to. Original on the right, nice and green, and much to my surprise even liked by mom.

I was going for a snake theme, or something jungly, semi reptilian even. But then I was told the scales and the overall appearance looked more like a water dwelling creature. That made me wonder how it would look blue, and I ended up with the left image in the panel.

Personally I love both, and the blue version seems really pretty. The general concept for this suit theme came from the idea of when my character travels through the forest of the Bionicle universe, may even use it to blend in later during the Life of Lewa series.

The blue version of this, I've considered using somewhere too. Nothing wrong with having a base design in different shades.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Rock of Many Mini Rivers

Made this piece long ago, just felt like making an image of a water Glatorian sitting in the jungle on some rock.

Ideas still come flowing to mind when I look at this image; there may even be a story behind it someday. Who knows, maybe this Glatorian's name means river. She sits in rest on a lone rock in the jungle, splaying her hand out to the stone so water can flow from the rock and give the plants a drink with many mini rivers. Who is she? Why is she in the jungle? What is she doing there and how does she relate to other existing characters with built identities in some of my already existing stories? These are some of the questions that can liven this image.

I might even find a place for this anonymous image in the Life of Lewa series, the possibilities are open for many concepts.

Mediums used: Pen, Prismacolor pencils, and marker.

Trvia: Her helmet design was inspired off Kiina's, and her her build somewhat off Marine's.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Bionicle 2015-opinionated article
We've all been hearing it; Bionicle fans across the internet have been raving on about Bionicle 2015.

Naturally there are both cynical or enthusiastic fans on the subject. I myself would be one of the people who stands in a neutral zone on the subject. Am I excited? Maybe only a tad, but am certainly not one to jump on the hype train. 

I'm glad to see that LEGO finally listened to its fans and brought back a name that so many have grown to love; however, I hold a certain amount of skepticism towards this.

Many would say they're glad to just have  more pieces to play with and purchase; which, I'll admit the 2015 Bionicle sets aren't too bad, especially in comparison to Hero Factory. But the only reason they're more interesting in my eyes is because the masks and legs aren't so generic like HF. They hold more life to them, despite the fact that the sets still contain the same basic structure as the HF sets. 
Bionicle 2015 compared to Hero Factory 

  My view on the toys themselves is kind of iffy. I'm glad that the sets are now back to a decent height, and more proportionate, but...they still seem to lack a certain charm that the old Bionicle sets contained. In simple terms, they still look kind of cheap because the HF structure they still have (but maybe that's just me). I likely won't be able to purchase any sets of 2015 anyway.

At least the new sets have some pretty cool looking heads (left image).

It's disappointing to know that LEGO melted the traditional Bionicle set molds. In fact, it appalls me. Such a waste of a perfectly good mold for a toy line that still seems to ring superior in design compared to what LEGO is now dishing out. I would never rid of something that would likely become a sought after toy and storyline once more.
 The old sets of Bionicle just seem to contain more detail, more character, regardless of year (personally I loved the basic structures once it started hitting 2006 and older).
The only other reason the new sets disappoint me is because most HF parts are not friendly with basic Bionicle parts of the old sets. You can only make really cool stuff if you still have a hardy amount of traditional Bionicle pieces.
That's my opinion on the toys themselves and how I look at it.

Opinion On Storyline

I get that it's likely challenging for a company to end one story and then have to begin it again, but have to consider on how to please both traditional fans, while introducing and interesting new fans. 

From the sounds of it so far, LEGO is changing up the story to something that branches off from the original Bionicle line, and seems to take a turn in another dimension or time. Granted, I'm interested to see what they come up with and how they plan to reintroduce the story to new readers, but my skepticism still remains.

A newer storyline that branches from original seems all right, though it drives me crazy that the cliff hanger in original story may remain a cliff hanger for the rest of history.

And from the sounds of it, some of the traditional artists/writers and designers who helped on the Bionicle storyline in the past are now on to new projects and are leaving the new Bionicle series up to new artists in LEGO. This makes me even more skeptical of the stories success, considering what LEGO offered before with the pitiful excuse for a story in Hero Factory. HF seemed to be lacking a large amount of creativity, and was absurdly vague. I hope that the writers who work at LEGO will stretch out that creativity further, so we don't end up with another Hero Factory with a golden label.

I'm also skeptical on the villain aspect of the story. Skull spiders don't seem that threatening, not like the Bohrok or Rahkshi. You go from original Bioncicle story where the foes are about the same size as the heroes, then you go to HF where the villains are twice the size of the heroes, then you get Bionicle 2015 where the threat is small compared to the hero (excluding the boss figure I guess).

 I never wrote about how I looked at it when Bionicle was first canceled. When it went away and HF was brought around, lots of fans were naturally disappointed. But then in time, I got use to the fact Bionicle had been discontinued, and the more I thought about it, the more I felt that it was better not to ask LEGO to bring it back. Why? Because I felt that despite the fact it ended on a cliff hanger and was discontinued, at least it had ended before ideas were lost, and thus kept Bionicle golden and untouched as a story which has inspired so many. I saw how pitiful HF was, and all I could think is, if this is how simplistic LEGO wants to boil down, then what would they do to the traditional Bionicle storyline if they brought it back. Now that I see they have, I'm glad they left the original story alone and on its cliff hanger, essentially making that past series golden and open to possibilities.

That's my view on things so far, pretty sure I'm still a late fan of the older series.